Pedagogy of Poverty: School Choice and Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa


  • Bekisizwe S Ndimande The University of Texas at San Antonio


School Choice, Black Parents, Poverty, Neoliberalism, Post-Apartheid South Africa, Education Policy


This paper examines the experiences of Black children in schools with inadequate resources in post-apartheid South Africa. It draws on the perspectives of the parents whose children attend schools that have inadequate resources in poor neighborhoods, known as the townships. I argue that the resource situation in these schools directly contributes to poverty in these childrenΓÇÖs lives. Further, I posit that the challenges of resources in these Black and segregated schools are inextricably connected to the larger neoliberal agenda of privatization and markets that has since influenced the social policy in post-apartheid South Africa. The influence of neoliberal policies in education has encouraged school choice as a way to desegregate schools and reform education. I conclude that the school choice policies have marginalized Black children in poor township schools and this has an adverse impact on the future of these children in terms of their educational opportunities and their rights to quality education.

Author Biography

Bekisizwe S Ndimande, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Bekisizwe S. Ndimande (Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction; University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His research interests span the fields of curriculum studies, education policy, multicultural education, children’s rights, and immigrant education. He has published several journal articles and book chapter, including Pedagogy of the Township, in Sonia Nieto (Ed .), Dear Paulo: Letters from Those who Dare Teach; Race and Resources, Race Ethnicity and Education; From Apartheid to the Fight for Socially Just Education, Equity & Excellence in Education; and Lutas Docentes nas Escolas Públicas para negros na África do Sul pós-apartheid, Cadernos de Educação. Dr. Ndimande has collaborated with scholars from Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and Northern Ireland.